Ryan Newman says he is confident that everything is in place for him to try and become the first repeat winner of the Daytona 500 for more than ten years.
Newman took victory in the event last season while driving for Penske Racing, leading home team-mate Kurt Busch to a one-two finish.
For his defence of the title however, Newman will be in the new surroundings of Stewart-Haas Racing having moved to the newly named team for 2009 to partner Tony Stewart.
Should the 31-year-old successfully win the event for the second straight year, he would be the first repeat winner of the race since Sterling Marlin took back-to-back wins in 1994 and 1995.
"From a personnel standpoint I feel we have everything we need to win," he said. "Even though it's a new situation here with a new team and new owner I feel we will be competitive right out of the box. So many of these people have been through this type of situation that they're fully capable of hitting the ground running.
“It's an honour to race in the Daytona 500. My father [Greg Newman] and I would always watch the race on television, and starting in 1992 we attended the event in person.
“Last year's final lap was emotional. My father, who is my spotter, was tearing up and kept on saying, 'Go boy, Go boy'. When I crossed the finish line there was no doubt that I knew the significance of what the Daytona 500 victory meant.”
Newman's Stewart-Haas bow will also mark his debut in US Army colours and he admitted that running with backing from the armed forces but his own career into perspective.
"Having the United States Army as a primary sponsor brings a large domestic and international fan base," he said. "It's pretty humbling to know that our Army Chevy Impala SS will be representing more than one million Soldiers.
“When you think about one million soldiers who are fighting for freedom in a time of crisis, it kind of puts it all in perspective. What I am doing is relatively easy in the grand scheme of things."